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What to Know When Buying from an Art Store

How Customer-Friendly Is Your Online Art Store? Buying art supplies from an online art store should be a quick and easy experience. If it’s not, it defeats the purpose of buying online in the first place. Products should be easy to find and divided into categories so you can go straight to the item you need. The presentation should be of a high standard as well, so you can get the best possible view of the product you’re after and ensure it’s exactly what you need. There’s nothing worse than opening a package to discover the item is not what you thought it was! A Good Art Store Offers Great Choice Some art stores on the world wide web hardly offer a world of choice! They might be set up to simply get rid of excess or obsolete stock. The best online art stores will give you a good variety of products and a selection of qualities in each medium to suit your particular budget. A good online art store will allow you to find all you need in one site. Be wary of sites that simply exist to dump a few items on the market; you’ll waste your time trying to find what you need. The Knowledgeable Art Store By buying art supplies online you may think that you’re missing out on expert advice to help you in your selection. A really good online art store will overcome this issue by being packed with information as well as products. Look for an FAQ section and E-books which will answer all your questions and provide you with a host...

Watercolours The Beautiful Medium

Watercolours: As used by the greats   If you want to see watercolours at their very best, look up the works of the masters. Many artists have made a name as watercolour specialists including Van Dyck, Gainsborough and Constable, while England’s most famous landscape painter, Turner, gained renown for his innovation with watercolours. Cezanne became known for overlapping pure colours and Van Gogh was able to create layers of striking colour using watercolours.   Watercolours and you   If you’ve been inspired by the watercolours of the masters and wish to paint your own masterpiece, you’ll be pleased to know that the start-up costs are minimal. Watercolour paint sets, brushes and papers are very affordable in comparison to a medium like oil paints. As a new watercolourist, and the almost inevitable mistakes that any beginner will make, this will save you a lot of money in the long run. At the same time, the pressure to get it right first time around will remove a lot of pressure and make painting fun.     Don’t over mix watercolours   Mixing watercolours to create the right colour can be as much fun as applying the paint itself. Here’s a simple tip to make your mixing even more fun, and effective. Don’t do too much at once. Only mix two colours at a time and when you have the right blend, that’s the time to mix in another colour. Over mixing is something of a lottery and very rarely will you get the right results. Even professional artists, mindful of wasting paint, stick to the ‘two at a time’ policy.  ...

Packing a Punch with Pastels

Putting the colour into pastels Pastels are made of powdered pigment which is then ground into water, all held together by a gum binder. This formula is then compacted into small sticks and applied to a variety of surfaces. The rougher the surface, the more your pastel likes it! As pastels are very powdery, a rough surface is best for ‘holding’ the pigment whereas a smooth surface has virtually no hold at all. The most used pastel is the soft variety as they have more pigment and colour than hard pastels, which have a higher proportion of binder to pigment. Choosing pastels Want maximum colour from your pastels? Then don’t settle for anything too cheap! Less expensive pastels are great if you’re just starting out or experimenting with the medium, but the lack of pigment means a lack of colour. As colour is the great feature of pastels, particularly soft pastels, then what’s the point of using them if you’re not getting the most colour out of them? When you buy a set of pastels, ask for light, mids and dark colours in equal proportions so you can work in a wide range of styles and themes. Eventually, you’ll settle on the style that suits you best and that’s when you can limit the number of colours you use. Pastels for fast results If you’ve worked with oil paint before, you’ll know that it can be a long process waiting for the paint to dry so you can move onto the next stage. No such problem with pastels. They’re the fast medium if you like, much quicker than paint...

There is Nothing like Oil Paint

How is oil paint made? Quite simply, coloured pigment is ground into a drying oil, such as linseed and safflower. This is the basis of oil paint. The oil base means that this type of paint takes longer to dry than other mediums, so an oil painting can be created in stages and over time, with none of the undue haste connected with other paints. Thanks to modern technology, water soluble oil paints are now on the market. This reduces exposure to harsh chemicals and makes for easy cleaning and thinning as water is all that’s required to complete these tasks. What oil paint is right for you? Basically, oil paints can be split into two categories: student grade and artist grade. Student grade oil paint is good beginner’s material as it is less expensive however it contains less pigment than artist grade. This equals a relative lack of colour and depth in your work. As you progress as an artist and feel your work deserves the very best material, you might like to move up to more expensive but higher quality artist grade oil paint. Oil paint: fat over lean One of the great advantages of oil paint is the ability to layer. When layering, the proportion of oil should be increased with each layer as the lower layers absorb oil from the layers above. This technique is known as fat over lean, and stops the upper layers cracking. The best brush for your oil paint Many a young artist has made the mistake of buying the right oil paint and the wrong brush to apply it! If...

Tips for Painting with Acrylic Paint

Choose The Best Quality Acrylic Paint Like everything in life, you get what you pay for. When you go to buy your acrylic paint, you’ll be faced with a myriad of choices…and prices. At the end of the day, your money is best invested in the highest quality acrylic paint you can afford. The better the quality, the better the colour and coverage. High quality Student standard paints are now available although nothing beats the pigment and quality of Professional standard. Mixing It With Acrylic Paint You might think you have to pay a pretty penny for your acrylic paint but remember – you don’t need to buy every colour! Challenge yourself to learn to colour mix and you’ll be a better artist as a result. You can also create just the right colour to capture the look you’re after. A great exercise to help you achieve this is to do a colour wheel. Always Use A Medium With Acrylic Paint Water is not ideal when using acrylic paint. As vibrant as it is, the colour in acrylic paint diminishes somewhat when water is added to the mix. Always use a medium like Atelier Clear Painting Medium; this extends your acrylic paint while keeping the pigment suspended. As acrylic is a plastic based paint it is good to use a medium to help each subsequent layer stick to the next paint layer. Use Acrylic Paint Without A Worry Stress and creativity are not comfortable bedfellows. So the next tip is simple. Don’t worry! Acrylic paint is very forgiving, thanks to its fast-drying qualities. So enjoy painting with acrylic paint,...